Details about BookSlam 2021/22 can be seen here.


BookSlam is an annual competition for primary schools in Wales and is based on reading English-language books.

Join us in a celebration of reading, encouraging children across Wales to embrace reading and discussing English-language books from Wales.

Through these fun competitions, we encourage children to take an interest in the world of books and help to build their literacy, interpretation, debating and presenting skills.

The competition creates a real buzz around the world of books and through taking part, pupils develop long-term and positive attitudes towards reading. Reading for pleasure can also support the development of empathy and contribute towards health and wellbeing development.

The Bookslam competition:

  • is open to pupils in years 3 to 6
  • offers a wide selection of books on its reading list in order to engage a cross-section of pupils
  • provides flexibility for teachers to operate on a whole class level or in MAT groups
  • contributes to the requirements of the Language Charter
  • conforms to the requirements of the Curriculum for Wales
  • offers valuable experiences outside school

    As well as being fun, the competitive element of the programme:

    • motivates children of all abilities to read and discuss books
    • gives the children and their schools a chance to win generous prizes.

    Competition Details 

    The competition starts at a county level. 

    Each county in Wales will select one school to represent the county in the National Round. 

    Each team will choose ONE book from the booklist for discussion and ONE different book for presentation in the form of a promotional advertisement. 

    Please contact your county organiser or to confirm the regional arrangements. 



    • Booktalk is the main aim of this part of the challenge. That is, discussing the book, its characters and events, as well as the overall reading experience. 
    • The pupils are not expected to have prepared or memorised a specific discussion.
    • Each member of the group is expected to contribute, to respond to open questions and comments from the adjudicator as well as each other’s comments.
    • A maximum of 4 pupils are allowed per discussion group.
    • The discussion will last approximately 8 minutes.


    Promotional advertisement video: 

    The main aim of the promotional video is to encourage children to read and buy the book by endorsing its appeal to an audience of the same age. 

    • Each team must choose one book to promote, which should a different book to the one used in the discussion.
    • A maximum of 8 pupils in each group.
    • The pupils who take part in the discussion do not have to take part in the promotional advert, therefore up to 12 pupils can take part in the competition.
    • A maximum of 6 minutes is allowed for the video.
    • One mark will be deducted for every 30 seconds over the 6 minutes time allowance.
    • You can film a stage performance, or you can film in different locations – be as creative as you dare!


    50% is awarded for the discussion and 50% awarded for the performance 


    Discussion Guidelines 


    What will the judge be looking for? 



    • Evidence that the pupils have a good knowledge of the book, the story and the characters.
    • A clear understanding of the themes and message of the book.
    • References to wider reading beyond the chosen books, where appropriate.


    Expressing opinions

    • Expressing opinions clearly and giving fair and honest reasons.
    • The ability to ask each other questions, answer, agree, disagree and challenge where appropriate.
    • Listen to each other and build on each other’s comments.
    • Offer relevant comments in response to others.


    Working and discussing as a group

      • The ability to discuss independently as a group.
      • Equal or balanced contribution from each member of the group.
      • Lively, natural conversation.
      • The ability to respond to questions that arise from the discussion.

    Promotional Video Guidelines 

    What will the judges be looking for?  

    • An advert that conveys the tone and the themes of the book, and which encourages young readers to choose to read it.
    • A lively performance with a variety of dramatic effects.
    • Movement and effective use of the space selected.
    • Clear and audible presentations.
    • Teamwork and meaningful contributions from every member of the group.
    • Effective use of costumes and props.
    • Basic editing software can be used by the pupils. The content of the advert will be judged, not the quality of the editing.